Obama Has Learned Nothing
The White House plows ahead.
10:11 AM, Feb 9, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
What does the decrypt reveal? Here's what:
Hence Obama's decision to re-litigate health care reform even though public opposition brought his plan to a standstill in Congress; even though he said in the State of the Union that his "number one focus" was jobs; even though his approval ratings began falling precipitously at the moment when health care took center stage in the national debate. His post-State of the Union bounce is gone: Marist pegs Obama's job approval at 47 percent. Rasmussen also has it at 47 percent.
Many of us expected the White House to pivot to the center after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. In hindsight, that expectation seems laughable. And the reason a pivot now seems fantastic is Obama. His estimation of his powers of persuasion is so high, he truly believes he will be able to best the Republicans, sway public opinion, and force a final vote on health care -- and all through more talk!
Who will tell him he's making a mistake? Not his functionaries at the White House. Brooks says "administration officials still talk about Obama in awestruck tones, even in private."
Note to White House staffers who are willing to express contrary opinions: you may want to read John B. Judis. He may not be a "nihilist," but he gets it nonetheless:
"Obama doesn’t seem, like Clinton or Reagan, to be a man of many faces," Judis concludes. No, he does not. And his inability to adapt to changing political circumstances is going to leave him and his party in a lurch. Like Washington, the White House is snowed in. Only a major shock to the system -- something on par with the 1994 or 2006 elections -- will force it to break out the shovels, clear a path, and reconnect with the public. And by that point, it may be too late.